Recording artist, actor, songwriter and producer Euclid Gray brought to the gospel division of Malaco Music Group something it had not been known for in the industry—an eclectic urban adult contemporary sound.
A Chicago native and graduate of Calumet High School, Gray launched his professional music career in 1996 by joining Public Announcement, an R&B vocal group that once served as background singers for R. Kelly. After parting ways with R. Kelly, the group signed with A&M Records and released All Work, No Play, their first album as a solo act. The album produced the group’s only top five single, 1998’s Body Bumpin’ (Yippie-Yi-Yo).
Gray testified that in 1999 God called him out of secular music and into religious music. He also pursued acting, securing a role as the Reverend Henry Oliver in Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns. As a result of his appearance in the play, Gray’s debut gospel album, a 2005 release called Father Guide Me, sold 10,000 units—a remarkable achievement for an independently produced gospel album at that time.
The sales figures caught the attention of Malaco Records. Despite (or because) of Gray’s distinctive urban AC vibe, the company signed Gray and released his next album, 2008’s Unleashed. The eight-cut CD displayed Gray’s varied influences—from R&B and soul to hip-hop, rock and reggae. Awash in angry, buzzing electric guitars, the single Ain’t Gon’ Get Mine was Gray’s stern warning to the devil to stay away.
In addition to working with Perry, Gray also starred in Rise, written by Christopher “Play” Martin of Kid ’n’ Play and Cheryl “Salt” James of Salt-N-Pepa; and in John Ruffin’s Love the Hurt Away.
Gray has never doubted his decision to shift from secular to sacred music. “Since the Lord called me out,” he testified, “I’ve been faithful, without compromising or looking back, through car repossession, loss of so-called friends, utility shut-off, eviction notice, people calling me crazy for leaving the group and more. But, by going through the wilderness, he has made me ‘Stronger’.”
Euclid Gray lives with his family in Atlanta, Georgia. He continues to make music, act and share his testimony publicly at church-sponsored conferences.